Review – Nightwing #86: Take Back Gotham

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Nightwing #86 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Nightwing #86 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Robbi Rodriguez, Artist; Adriano Lucas, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: The conclusion of the three-part Fear State tie-in—the last before next month’s experimental mega-splash issue—is pretty much like the ones before it. It’s a lot of fun, with good dialogue, but it’s definitely a break from the main series narrative which I find stronger. Also, it covers a good deal of material from other comics like Batman and the Batgirls backup, but from different perspectives. When we last left off, Batgirl and Nightwing had just seen the clock tower blow up—seemingly with the younger Batgirls inside. The initial search is tense and brutal, but it’s not drawn out as the girls reveal that they escape. That leads to the best part of this storyline, as we get five members of the Bat-family working together with all the banter and snark we love out of these characters. It’s great to see them actually acting like siblings, particularly with Tim and Steph teasing Dick and Babs about their rekindled romance.

Close call. Via DC Comics.

From there, we’re just basically reliving the siege of the Magistrate’s headquarters but as the focus, not as a quick subplot in the main book. The Bats plan their infiltration, steal some gear, and wage war on the fascists hovering over Gotham. Nightwing, surprisingly, feels like a supporting character in his own book. The story is much more focused on Barbara’s quest to regain control of her network, and it’s Cass and her skills who steal the show in many scenes. It’s very satisfying to see the heroes win here, the closer look at Seer is interesting, and it’s a good spotlight for all the characters. But even the best tie-in won’t usually be as compelling as a great book at its peak. I think all the Bat-books were sort of pulled into this event, and we’re lucky enough that this is just the beginning of Taylor’s run. He’s set up a very strong status quo for Nightwing, and while this was a very enjoyable arc, I’m excited to get back to it.

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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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